When Is A Property Survey Needed?A property survey can be required due to a variety of reasons. Often, a property survey is required by a lending institution, a title insurance company, a governmental permitting agency, or due to the selling, purchasing, or subdividing of a property. Although it may not be required by permitting authorities, it is prudent to secure a survey prior to constructing any improvements including fences. Too often a landowner will assume that a fence line, road or other improvement defines the property line, only to find the property line is not where it was thought to be. Likewise, a survey may show that an existing property corner is not in the correct location. A property survey should determine that a parcel of land is properly situated in accordance with the Deed Description, and it should identify any existing gaps or encroachments between adjacent properties. A survey will identify your property corners and property lines and should provide you with confidence when performing improvements or maintenance upon your property. The cost of a survey is much more palatable than having to remove improvements, buy a strip of land or defend yourself in court due to improvements that encroach onto a neighbor.
How Do I Choose A Surveyor? Surveyors are professionals that are licensed and regulated by the state. Each state has its own unique laws and regulations that relate to surveys and surveyors. Surveyors are required to maintain Minimum Standards, adhere to a Code of Ethics, perform in accordance with acceptable practices, and perform their services within the requirements of the laws and regulations administered by the state in which they perform their services. Any Professional Surveyor should be able to provide the land surveying services you desire. Considerations might include the schedule for the surveyor to start and complete the work, and the surveyor’s familiarity with the area, the type of equipment he utilizes and the records available to him.
How Much Will A Land Survey Cost? Each surveyor will typically prepare a fee estimate that is normally based on the size of the property, its location in relation to his office, the configuration of the property, accessibility, terrain, whether the property is open or over-grown, the level of detail required, and whether or not the property described in the Deed Description is accurately written in sufficient detail. The cost of a survey will vary depending on these and other factors. Most surveyors will provide a quote at no cost or obligation, but will need answers to the preceding questions, and a copy of your Deed Description before furnishing a quote.
What Type Of Survey Do I Need? There are many different types of surveys and survey requirements. Due to the many variables, you should contact a Surveyor and discuss what you are trying to accomplish and the options that are available to you.
Research/Records Search: Land surveys often require a records search for the property being surveyed. This step can sometimes become complicated by the way past land transactions have been handled, oftentimes resulting in incomplete, vague and in some cases contradictory land records and property descriptions. The research effort can vary considerably from one parcel to another.
Shape and Size of Property: Rectangular parcels of land generally are typically more economical to survey. They typically involve fewer corner monuments than do irregular shaped parcels that contain the same amount of land.
Sectionalized Survey Work: Depending on where your property is located, the surveyor may have to break down an entire one mile square section in which your property is situated. In some cases, particularly where the property is adjacent to or overlaps into multiple sections, a survey of the multiple sections will likely be necessary.
Existing Evidence on Property: The surveyor will rely on existing evidence such as stone, wood or iron monuments, fences and occupational lines, witness trees, etc. to determine the location of property corners. The absence of such existing evidence will generally make it more difficult for the surveyor to retrace the original survey.
Terrain: Mountainous or hilly terrain is generally more difficult to survey than a level parcel of land.
Accessibility: The location of the property in proximity to our office contributes to the amount of time required to perform the survey. This includes the distance to the site and any difficultly in reaching all of the property corners.
Vegetation: Brush, tree branches and in some cases small trees must sometimes be removed to allow the surveyor a clear line of sight when performing a survey. Residential landscaping and trees on home sites will normally remain undisturbed but may require additional time and cost to survey around them.
How Can I Tell What Has Been Surveyed? Land Surveyors will flag or stake all property corners that are a part of the survey. When setting a property corner, he will normally set a rebar that bears a plastic cap inscribed with the Professional Land Surveyor's license number along with a flagged stake. A Survey Plat will be prepared that graphically illustrates and describes where the monuments are located. The surveyor should provide copies of the plat to you. Upon request, the surveyor can show the owner where each of the property corners are situated.